Starz, DirecTV extend distribution deal

Satcaster to offer shows on DirecTV Everywhere

Starz and DirecTV reupped an existing pact and unveiled a new multiplatform distribution deal that gives the satcaster’s nascent DirecTV Everywhere a bump with pics and original series like “Spartacus” and “Magic City.”

It’s one of a burgeoning string of streaming pacts between video service and content providers trying amid fierce competition to get programming to consumers any time and on all devices. DirecTV Everywhere is currently being tested nationally with a select group of customers including Starz Super Pack subscribers. It’ll be widely available beginning this summer.

“DirecTV and Starz have a long, symbiotic relationship going back to the early 1990s, and I am very pleased that we are able to extend and expand our existing business relationship,” said Ed Huguez, president of affiliate distribution for Starz. The close ties included DirecTV’s strong participation in the multiplatform sampling of “Magic City.”

The new agreement, which lets Starz subs access the net’s content online through their DirecTV accounts, will go into effect later this year. Derek Chang, DirecTV’s exec VP of content strategy and development, said the deal “will bring even more value to our customers.”

The accord also extends a current agreement that lets the satcaster offer Starz premium channels, HD and on-demand services. It gives DirecTV access to the Movieplex, Indieplex and Retroplex networks.

DirecTV currently offers 15 Starz and Encore channels, with eight in high definition, for Starz Super Pack subscribers. That includes 600 movies, originals and TV shows per month. Movieplex will add about an additional 200 titles once launched, the companies said.

Starz Entertainment is owned by John Malone’s Liberty Media. It offers 17 premium channels including flagship Starz and sister channel Encore and their offshoots with, respectively, 19.6 million and 33.2 million subscribers.

DirecTV has 32 million customers — 19.9 million in the U.S. and the rest in Latin America.